Goats graze Forest Ranch for fire mitigation

Grazing goats have become an effective way to clear properties and prevent fires.

Posted: May 28, 2021 7:22 PM

FOREST RANCH, Calif. - About 500 goats and sheep are grazing hillsides in Forest Ranch and they all have one job: to eat the weeds.

One neighborhood in the area decided to hire goats instead of weed eaters for fire mitigation this year.

Besides having four stomachs, goats strip down seeds which make it harder for plants to regrow.

Especially being in a fire prone area, Action News Now asked the Humboldt Woodlands Homeowners Association Treasurer Glen Eaton about why they decided to make the switch.

“This year, this option was suggested to us and the fire mitigation team looked into it and found it was competitive and cost effective and in many ways, better. So, we just decided to go with this and we’ve been really pleased with it,” he said.

The owner of the goats said they are better for fire prevention because unlike weed eaters, goats eat everything and don’t leave a trace behind.

So far, Eaton says his neighbors are liking this new temporary addition to the neighborhood and are relieved to not have to worry about leftover debris during the fire season.

“If you had seen this area before they started a few days ago, it’s great,” he continued. “The weeds were so high over you couldn’t even see the rocks. They are doing an amazing job. We usually can’t see the dirt so it’s kind of cool.”

These goats can eat up to 1 acre of weeds per hour, making them a great way to quickly lower fire danger.

The goats will be out in Forest Ranch hard at work until Tuesday.

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